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The danger of pre-writing your narrative

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: labour, maori party, Media - Tags:

It was clear that the Herald had decided how Ratana would play this year: eveyone loves Key, Goff gets the cold shoulder. It didn’t matter what actually happened, that was going to be the Herald’s narrative:

Ratana pats Key on the back
Labour gets icy reception at Ratana

You would think those headlines had been written before the event. They have no relationship what actually happened according to every other media outlet:

RNZ: Labour leaves Ratana feeling secure in support [2]
TVOne: Labour recieve warm welcome at Ratana
Tv3: Goff: reception at Ratana warm, relationship healthy  [2]
Dompost: Goff scoffs at claim of losing church

Even Matthew Hooton didn’t think that dog would hunt. He described Goff as looking like a strong leader. Watching the video from last night, it’s hard to deny that Labour and Goff in particular got the warm reception that Labour should get at Ratana considering the strength of that relationship and all that Labour has achieved for Maori with the aid of Ratana backing.

But, for mine, the most interesting quote from the weekend was Pita Sharples on Labour: “the ideals of Labour are still ours too

I look forward to the day your party starts living up to them, Pita. Maybe once Turia goes the Maori Party can rejoin the Left.

26 comments on “The danger of pre-writing your narrative”

  1. Well I cancelled my Herald a few months ago ,before I had a break down reading its Right-Wing propogander .Now I must admitt I cheat a bit and read some of of it on the net. Its the ame old blue rag ,its so biased towards National that I wonder if the Nats actually own it.
    It blatantly advertises National every day (just have a look at how many times “NATIONAL” appears on each page. ) .I would be interested to hear from Standard readers just what affect they thinjk this has on voters and how do we on the Left counter this propogander?

    • Lukas 1.1

      sigh.

      When will you on the left stop complaining about the “right wing bias” of the Herald?

      They have as many “left wing bias” stories in their paper as they do “right wing” stories. Get over it. Just because not every story they put in the paper shares your world view, it does not mean that they are out to get you. Right leaning people could probably say the same about Sunrise on TV3 with Driver and his obvious bias, but most of us choose to ignore it.

      • starboard 1.1.1

        c’mon now…who watches sunrise / driver anyway…2 maybe 3 people..

        • Kevin Welsh 1.1.1.1

          Me for one. If its a choice between Ollie Driver or that twat Henry then it’s a no-brainer.

          I loved it when Driver first joined Sunrise because back then he would ask John Key the tough questions and not put up with the “do you like the tie Max bought me” bullshit replies. Unfortunately now he has been bought into line an asks the same softball questions as the rest of them do.

          The price you pay for “access”, I guess.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        They have as many “left wing bias’ stories in their paper as they do “right wing’ stories.

        No they don’t. They have a definite right-wing ideology.

      • Mr Magoo 1.1.3

        When they stop being biased?

        A friend has noticed 2 polls on their website now that, when they did not go they way they planned, vanished.

        One was on decriminalizing pot (50+% in favor) and the other was some other issue that went left.

        Poof…without a trace. I could see it in the browser history clearly but the poll just vanished.
        Next time I told them to screenshot them and send them in.

        I stopped reading any version of the herald a while ago.

        • quenchino 1.1.3.1

          Yeah that one on pot decriminalising was a feeble cowardice.

          The bias in the Herald is so not a matter of blatant unbalance. It would be far too obvious and counterproductive if they made the paper read exactly like the “National Party Daily”.

          The real bias is how they frame issues and the kind of language used. The language of spin is subtle and emotional, it uses warm, secure terms and phrases to lend a halo of positivity to right agenda’s, while using perogative, chilling words to run down and denigrate the left’s. Sometime’s it’s obvious, but mostly it’s a slow, gentle corrosive effect. They know they have the pulpit of public attention everyday, they don’t have to score king-hits everytime they go out… tommorrow, next week, next month the same people will still be reading them… the effect of repetition is massively reinforcing.

          • Mr Magoo 1.1.3.1.1

            I read once that the herald showed its true colours in a more overt fashion in the past and the backlash from left readers was such that they went back to just being subversive as they are now.

            Far more dangerous to be honest and what has let national spin so easily.

            Meh.

  2. Lew 2

    Eddie, I almost wrote about Goff’s failure at Ratana based on the coverage, but it didn’t smell right. Listening to Hooton confirmed my instinct.

    I still have serious concerns but not quite as serious as they were being painted.

    As to the comment about Turia: perhaps when Labour recants on its use of legislative fiat to disenfranchise a very large and loyal section of its electorate, that section of the electorate and those who now represent it will play ball. Hopefully Sharples’ statement is enough of a hint that the door remains ajar.

    L

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1

      Labour aren’t part of the govt at the moment, so its hard to know what their approach to the FSA will be once we see how Key handles it.

      Turia needs to keep an open mind on this.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        Yes and no. It’s their act. They equivocated slightly about it before deciding on the ‘blue collars, red necks’ strategy, and then returned to their old defence of it. That’s as good a sign as any that they’re still the enemy with regard to that policy.

        L

        • Clarke 2.1.1.1

          Good analysis, Lew, and I think you’re right on the money. If Labour aren’t about to move on their FSA position then it will be pretty hard for Maori to see them as anything other than business as usual – playing right into Tariana’s world-view.

  3. Zorr 3

    Sadly I end up reading Stuff and they were all over the point that apparently Goff is back race-baiting again… >_<

    A quick read through their articles over their carefully picked points with some reading between the lines revealed the fact that they were just trying to make it look as spectacularly bad for Goff as they could – without resorting to things like complete coverage or denying their inherent bias in this case.

    Of course, if Key did anything at all it wasn't mentioned except as a sidenote of "Key is awesome and Goff is obviously teh suck". x_x

  4. The herald is not to the right, that is like saying Faux news is to the left.

  5. This morning’s Herald was particularly bad.

    There was also the heading “Preschoolers have reason to thank PM.

    What a guy that PM must be. Able to construct preschools at a single bound and able to resolve race relations issues instantly.

    • PT 5.1

      just like when the herald ran the story of how colin powell went out of his way to thank helen clark

      “So, it must be galling to watch Mr Powell going out of his way to publicly thank Helen Clark for the contribution of SAS troops to the American-led coalition against global terrorism.”

      and

      “They will also appreciate Helen Clark’s firm, Tony Blair-like stance on the necessity of military action.

      The big bonus for her in return was some encouraging noises volunteered by Mr Powell about the United States’ willingness to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand, although progress will not be made until after next month’s Australian elections and the granting of legislative authority by the Congress.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/apec-meetings/news/article.cfm?c_id=554&objectid=223920&pnum=0

      hate it when media say nice things about any politician savage don’t you

  6. The herald is not to the right, that is like saying Faux news is to the left.

    Their editorial stance is almost always supportive of right wing ideas or ideology, probably because the editorial team are almost all older white men; demographically they favor conservatism and right wing parties.
    Their gallery staff aren’t right wing, as such, but they’ve obviously been captured by the National government and function as a propaganda outlet for them in exchange for access and exclusive stories.

    Their business reporters seem pretty impartial – they’re often critical of National and Labour. A lot of the best political analysis in the country comes from the Herald’s business and financial writers/commentators.

    • quenchino 6.1

      Their editorial stance is almost always supportive of right wing ideas or ideology, probably because the editorial team are almost all older white men;

      Sod… so that’s why everyone hates me…. even my fellow pale male stales.

  7. tc 7

    Left, right, centre whatever anyway you look at it it’s lazy and inaccurate journalism and further evidential material that the Nat’s have the MSM by the short n curlys……sniff sniff what’s that…..crikey it’s the winds of media ownership law review….now sit/rollover….who’s a good MSM then.

    Well observed about Ollie Driver who obviously didn’t do sycophant 101 on his way to being priviledged enough to ask our workaholic PM a question.

    Note the first moves of Ian ‘axeman’ Audsley is to gain ratings so what better way than keep the PM rolling through another soapbox after TVNZ and the Herald.

    Daryl’s right about some of the best stuff coming from Herald writers like Fran O Sullivan and Rudman’s kept the blowtorch to Hides belly but look at the weight of below average material alongside them and it’s competition is……err nothing.

  8. Rich 8

    I just think it would be better if people thought about the issues and voted accordingly, rather than voting as they are told by priests.

    Trying to buy block votes isn’t something a left wing movement should do.

    (See also: “our whanau supports the Maori party”, disregarding that some of them, in the privacy of the ballot booth, might be voting for quite a different party).

  9. Tanya 9

    If the Herald is so right wing, then why was there a recent editorial against the Three Stikes Law? The Herald also always backs the anti-smacking stance, even post-referendum, and is very big on environmental issues too. They like Key because he is a Leftist himself.

  10. Gosman 10

    Wow!!!

    Racially exclusive group practicing superstitious rituals gives major left leaning party in NZ their support.

    You guy’s must be very proud. I can’t wait for your reaction when some wacky racially exclusive religious group supports National.

    LOL!

  11. Andy B 11

    Has anyone else read Chomsky’s and Herman’s propaganda model? It might help you understand why there is a right bias across the majority of the media in the developed world….

    It all comes down to money. Those who have money often support a conservative ideology and those who have money can also provide the initial capital to set up a media outlet and then continue to finance it.

    There is also a whole problem of info supply in government. Reporters want info and to get it, they must be nice to the politicians.

    There are a whole lot of other things too.

    Ooo! Here is a link that describes the whole thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model

    Some of it (like anti-communism) is irrelevant and it also largely applies to American media although it has much relevance in NZ too.

  12. Craig Ranapia 12

    I know this is rather eccentric, but I asked more than one person who was actually there and they gave me a third answer: Everyone got a civil reception, as I’d fully expect. And believe it or not, the politicians (and the media folks who think annual day trips to Ratana and Waitangi, plus having the usual rentaquotes on the speed dial, qualifies as expertise in Maoridom) weren’t actually the main focus of the hui for most of the participants.

    Yet again, the MSM scores a tokenistic epic fail. Big fucking surprise.

  13. todd 13

    Ollie believes that the cia flew planes into the world trade centre.Enuff said.
    Before the last election the Herald IMO was left leaning now you say they are right?.It simply confirms that they are all just lazy repeaters.

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